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Inches or weight

Having just read a post relating to exercise and a comment that muscle being heaver than fat, it made me remember I question I've often asked myself.

If as a lady you were a size 10 or as a man had 32 or 34" waist would you care if you weighed 20st?

Are we all losing weight to be a size or a weight?

For me I know the aim discussed with the CDC is about a weight, which then translates to a BMI and all the rest of it....

BUT...I genuinely believe that people do have different skeletoe structures and muscle mass and have seen plenty of people at an "ideal" weight who llok awful, ill almost.

so, ahtough my tracker and discussions with the CDC are about a weight I think for me it's about a size, clothing or whatever that maybe.
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Very good question,
I also wanted to get down to 10 stone when I started, I am only 5ft, but I would still need to lose another 11lbs after that to get me to a healthy BMI.

I think for me now I am taking it a stone at a time until I feel comfortable, having started at a BMI of 40 surely any dropping of that is beneficial to my health, without getting to hung up or obsessed in my own mind.


Silver Member
To be honest I'm not too bothered about my weight, as long as my bmi is healthy im not too bothered. I don't know what weight I will need to be to get to my desired size - I was wearing 18-20 at age 12! I'm almost six feet tall too so I haven't got a clue!

However i have bought myself a beautiful vintage chanel dress in a 12/14 :D I'm now a 24/26 and I will not rest until it fits!
I went through all these questions when I initially lost my weight 21 months ago now, and had discussions with my Doc, a friend who is a Nutritionist, and another who is training to become a personal trainer.

They are all of the opinion, and I am also now, that BMI is only a guide. There is no way that a "one size fits all" formula can be accurate or reliable. As you say, we are all build differently. The discussions I had led to the conclusions that there are two better measurements.

The first is a bit crude, and to me just as flaky as the BMI, and that is your waist measurement. A rule that some people use is that your waist measurement should be no more than half your height. So for me, at 5' 7" (67") my waist should be no more than 33.5". Funnily enough, when I am at target my waist is 31" .....

The best one is Body Fat Percentage. This is the real indicator of how well you are doing weight-wise. If you aim for a healthy BF% then your weight is irrelevant. If you have a healthy BF%, so my Doc says, then the heavier you are the more muscle/bone you are carrying and therefore your body is more able to carry and deal with the weight as it is stronger. Makes sense to me.

Healthy BF% vary between men and women, and also depend on what you do and how active you are. The following table give what are given as the acceptable ranges in my gym:

Classification Women (%Fat)
Essential Fat = 10 - 12%
Athlete = 14 - 20%
Fitness = 21 - 24%
Acceptable = 25 - 31%
Obese = 32% +

Classification Men (%Fat)
Essential Fat = 2 - 4%
Athlete = 6 - 13%
Fitness = 14 - 17%
Acceptable = 18 - 25%
Obese = 25% +

Now, everyone can obviously pick the way they measure themselves, but I personally choose the BF%.

After I lost my weight I had my BF% measured properly at the gym - it was 19%. I started going to the gym regularly, and my weight went up by 6lbs but my BF% when measured again had gone down to 15%.

I was heavier, but healthier.

lol...I liked it as a question.

So the drivers seem to be more about size than weight although there is the obvious health concerns. I too started at a BMI close to 40 and as you say any drop is good.

But I was aiming for 13st until I recently realised that for me it's more about the size and being able to buy what ever suit I need for work rather than seeing one I liked and hoping it was available in my size...
ohhh now see that BF% does seem a very sensible indicator...I'm not so sure about the waist size thing but hey...the forearm and shoe size thing seems to work in most cases so who am I to argue.

I still think that weight, health and the whole thing are as much about how you feel about yourself and what you "think" people's perceptions of you are for most people who are large.

I'm lucky in that I don't care what others think. I'm doing this for me..to feel healthier, buy more nicer clothes, look at myself and not think wow where did that gut come from....so I guess vanity maybe coupled with being not so tired after exercise.
Originally it was a size thing for me but now its weight, i originally thought to be a size 16 would be great (started out size 24) but now im just coming into a 14 i think just get to healthly BMI and i'll be happy.


Silver Member
Thanks fpr the info about body fat, i didn't know that, interesting stuff!
JOJOGO: isn't there a danger with always wanting more then? wanting to change...

I'm overweight and too big...I want to be X size.

ohhh I've got there..am I happy?.....no i want to be XX BMI......

As people who are too large are we possibly addictive personalities who replace one addiction with another?
It's an interesting question and there have been so many different answers. I think while dieting you do get fixated on scales as that is how your weight loss is being measured. However, I don't really care about my weight, bmi or body fat...I just want to look the way I used to in clothes and when I do, I'm not bothered whether I am classified as overweight or not. So I will measure my success by being able to wear the clothes I want to wear and feel good in them!
I have a simple Excel spreadsheet (attached) that estimates your Body Fat Percentage. It works based on a formula in one of Patrick Holford's books (forget which one now). I have no idea generally how accurate it is, but when I completed the fields after my "proper" tests at the gym it was only about 0.5% out at most, so it must be reasonably okay. It works based on Gender, Weight (in lbs), and your waist measurement (in ") .... there's that waist measurement again!!!

Anyhow, to use it all you need to do is:

1: Select Male/Female in cell D3
2: Enter your weight to nearest pound in cell B3 (round up)
3: Enter waist size to nearest 1/2" in cell C3 (round up)

It then does the calculations and gives some estimates in cells F3, G3, and H3



I have also struggles with this problem I am currently calorie counting until my finances enable me to CD but when I came to setting a goal I thought well I wanna be a curvy size 12/14 but not having been this size since I was about 14 I have no idea what weight this would be, So I thought aim for the middleish of a healthy BMI which for me is arounf 11 and a half stone.

So if I get to 11.5 stone and am not a size 12 ish I will be dissappointed
If I get to a size 12 ish and still weigh say 12 stone (unrealistic i know) I will still be thinking in my head 12 stone is still a bit heavy better lose another stone.

Really hopes that makes sense, either way I have feeling that 11.5 stone won't be my final weight and am really gonna have to listen to friends and family as to when I have lost enough as never have being slim I am concerened I may take it to far.

I agree with KramRolyat I definitly would be classed as having an addictive personality can't do anything by halfs always need to go to the extreme so maybe using body fat as an indicator would be a better indicator

You can all wake up now. LOL:nightf:
for me it is about size, i want to be a 14 cause then i can shop anywhere and clothes are my passion! he he (aswell as food!!:()

i think BMI route is not right for me cause i would have to loose another 2 stone to be ideal weight, ideal BMI etc etc but i know then that i would look skinny and i want to be all women! :D

Also having discussed BMI with my personal trainer (when i had him) - he was classified as over weight cause he was quite short and very muscley thus weighing too much so BMi indicated overweight when he obviously wasn't.

Body Fat percentage is the way he suggested for accuracy.
JOJOGO: isn't there a danger with always wanting more then? wanting to change...

I'm overweight and too big...I want to be X size.

ohhh I've got there..am I happy?.....no i want to be XX BMI......

As people who are too large are we possibly addictive personalities who replace one addiction with another?
Totally agree but i find that cd is so easy any weight i want to be is acheivable where as with previous diets you loose small amounts for lots of effort.

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